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The Trapeze Artist: Leading Your Team in Navigating Change

As a kid, I loved going to the circus and watching the trapeze artists. You’ve probably seen them, too—limber, athletic men and women who bravely let go of one bar, sail through the air, catch another bar (or another trapeze artist!) and continue gliding above the audience’s heads as if they can fly.

I like to think of navigating change as a trapeze act. If you’re a leader, you’re overseeing a team; and chances are, you’ve already had to help your team navigate some change. Right now, your team is swinging on bars in one location—they have systems, passions, goals, and relationships that are familiar. It’s brave of them to even be on the bar at all. But chances are, you see more opportunity across the way, and you’re trying to bring everybody along with you.

What we do as leaders when we navigate change is, we basically tell our teams, “Hey, I know you’re comfortable on this bar, going back and forth. But over there...

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